The Omo Valley


The Omo Valley

Home to more than 80 ethnic groups Ethiopia prides itself as one of the most diverse countries in the world. Its south west corner, the Omo Valley, is contains more than 16 ethnic groups including the world famous Mursi and Hammer tribes, known for their unique cultural practices

Home to more than 80 ethnic groups Ethiopia prides itself as one of the most diverse countries in the world. Its south west corner, the Omo Valley, is contains more than 16 ethnic groups including the world famous Mursi and Hammer tribes, known for their unique cultural practices. Whereas the Mursi women are known for wearing lip plates, the agro pastoralist Hammer people have a very strong attachment with their livestock. This attachment manifests in the traditional cattle jumping ceremony which is the young Hammer boys’ most important rite of passage ceremony. These and other extraordinary cultural practices have bestowed the Omo Valley the status of being one of the most fascinating tourist destinations in Ethiopia.

Omo valley tribes are pastoralists, their life is strongly connected to their livestock’s. Their houses are temporary small huts since they move seasonally looking for food to their Domestic animals. The end of communism 1991 in Ethiopia opened the gate for the rest of Ethiopia and the word to get to now and explore their untouched & colorful way of life. Among these tribes are Hammer, Mursi, Suri, Dassench, Karo, Egnagatom, Erbore, Konso and Dorze.

The Hammer and Mursi are the centers of the attraction within Omo Valley. The Hammer tribe is the center of the attraction within Omo valley. The Hammer tribe lives around Demeka and Tourmi. Hammer women are easily identified by their red color decorated hair from red volcanic tuff soil mixed with butter, there neckbands are unique to the tribe and helps also to identify singles from married women. Bull jumping ceremony for young men is an important and must bridge to join the manhood of the tribe for further life steps like choosing a woman for marriage & establishing a life of their own.

Mursi tribe is one of the smallest tribe in the Omo valley living with in Mago National Park. Mursi ladies are known for their lip plate’s decoration. They cut their lips as early as 10 years old and still without it she cannot get married or she will not be chosen by a man in the tribe.